Daniel Fetsko ’19 CE
The 24-Hour Imagination Quest was back this year and was once again a huge success. The 5th annual iteration of the competition consisted of five teams and 29 students from Villanova (13 from the College of Engineering and three from the Villanova School of Business), University of New Haven, Drexel University and Philadelphia University. Sponsored by the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN), in conjunction with the Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship (ICE) Institute and the Beyond Ideas committee, 24-Hour IQ is a combination of creativity, networking and a “Shark-Tank” style competition (or as we call it, the “Cat Cage”) that forces students to be resourceful and efficient in order to create, market and pitch a new product—all in only 24 hours.
The 2016 IQ began at 12 p.m. on Saturday, November 19 with introductions and the formation of teams before the students were given their first task: traverse the campus to come up with three possible product ideas to improve life at Villanova. Then, after long hours of brainstorming and interviewing potential consumers, Day 1 culminated with each team deciding on one product and addressing the judges with a preliminary 30-second pitch during an elevator ride in the Center for Engineering Education and Research (CEER). Early the next morning, the teams worked on a full product design, including a prototype and a comprehensive business plan. A trade show followed and the final piece of the competition was a presentation in the “Cat Cage” to the panel of judges.
The top three teams all received awards. This year’s winner of the $600 first-place prize was Team Badgers with their product “ITIS: Interactive Transit Information System,” an interactive entertainment/information system for use in SEPTA train stations. The team consisted of Daniel Grover ’20 ChE, three students from New Haven, and one from Philadelphia University. The second-place, $300 prize team, the Creative Crusaders, included first-year civil engineering students Alec Garino, Meghan Rice and Melanie Sabatino, as well as Christopher Bowers ’20 ME and two New Haven undergraduates. Creative Crusaders had the idea for “NOVAbites,” an app to help reduce wait times in the various dining halls on campus. The third-place, $150 team, Dynamite, came up with “Multiverse,” a removable wall that doubles as a touch screen and is meant to transform a large room into smaller sections with interactive, useful wall space. Dynamite was comprised of John Nikolaidis ’19 ME, Ayodele Awotunde ’20 ChE, a Philadelphia University student, and three students from New Haven.
Amanda Kelly, KEEN program coordinator, spearheaded the planning of the event along with Ed Dougherty, Engineering Entrepreneurship director. This fantastic program offers opportunities for students to gain valuable experience working in groups under a deadline, as well as helping students grow as entrepreneurs and stimulating their creativity. Kelly explains: “The competition challenges students to work together to form a cohesive team, with the opportunity to harness the talents of each individual team member. When they work together, students learn to see the value in sharing viewpoints, and creativity is sparked by feeding off the contributions of other team members.” With the success that the program has had, 24-HR IQ should have a bright future in attracting more young talent with an interest in entrepreneurship.
For more information about each individual team and the full results, please visit https://sites.google.com/view/24hriq2016/home.